How Texas energy has changed since the Cowboys’ last Super Bowl

January 29, 2020   By Arthur Murray

How Texas energy has changed since the Cowboys’ last Super Bowl

The Dallas Cowboys have been to eight Super Bowls, tied for second with Denver and Pittsburgh behind TTTSNBN – The Team That Shall Not Be Named but is quarterbacked by Tom Brady. But the ‘Boys haven’t been to “the Big Game” since 1996, when the Texas energy outlook was much different.

That’s a long time in football years. Even worse, the only Texas team to make the championship game, barely has broken even in the years since that season, averaging 8.5 wins per year during that span.

But the state’s pro football fortunes aren’t the only things that are different – Texas energy prices for residents have changed greatly since 1996.

The rise and fall of Texas energy rates

According to the federal Energy Information Administration, the average U.S. residential electricity price in 1996 was 8.36 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). How did that compare with the comparable Texas energy rate back then? It was a little more than 7 percent higher than the Lone Star State’s 7.77 cents/kWh.

What are residential rates now, and how do they compare with 1996? (All electricity prices are in cents/kWh.)

Residential
electricity
1996
rate
Now % change
Texas 7.77 11.97 54.1
U.S. 8.36 12.84 53.6

The story is similar for commercial rates.

Commercial
electricity
1996
rate
Now % change
Texas 6.71 8.15 21.5
U.S. 7.64 10.74 40.6

And for industrial rates.

Industrial
electricity
1996
rate
Now % change
Texas 4.03 5.63 39.7
U.S. 4.6 6.73 46.3

But wait! Those 1996 rates haven’t been adjusted for inflation. Taking that into account, Texans actually are paying lower average rates now than “in the good old days.”

Residential 1996
(adjusted)
Now % change
Texas 12.66 11.97 -5.5
U.S. 13.62 12.84 -5.7
Commercial 1996
(adjusted)
Now % change
Texas 10.93 8.15 -25.4
U.S. 12.45 10.74 -13.7
Industrial 1996
(adjusted)
Now % change
Texas 6.57 5.63 -14.3
U.S. 7.50 6.73 -10.3

The story of residential natural gas

Residential natural gas prices in Texas are about 67 percent higher than the national average. And, compared with 1996 rates, they are even worse. Period.

Following are the unadjusted prices, in dollars/thousand cubic feet:

Residential 1996
rate
Now* % change
Texas 6.56 21.13 222.1
U.S. 6.97 12.62 81.1

Adjusting for inflation makes for a better picture – but no masterpiece.

Residential 1996
adjusted
Now* % change
Texas 10.69 21.13 97.7
U.S. 11.36 12.62 11.1

Gasoline prices have pumped up

No big surprise here: Gasoline prices have increased in Texas, regardless of how you look at them. In 1996, prices were about 8 percent higher in Texas as in the U.S. as a whole, according to the EIA. They’re now about 15 percent lower than the national average.

The raw numbers from 1996 and now (all in dollars/gallon):

Regular
gasoline
1996
rate
Now* % change
Texas 1.18 2.18 84.7
U.S. 1.09 2.51 130.3

Adjusted for inflation, the gap doesn’t look nearly so bad.

Regular
gasoline
1996
adjusted
Now* % change
Texas 1.92 2.18 13.5
U.S. 1.78 2.51 41.0

The Cowboys have a new coach for the 2020 season, but it remains to be seen whether he will affect the state’s football fortunes. And the “other” Texas team, the one in Houston that’s never made the Super Bowl, also could be a factor next year in the NFL.

As for energy prices, take the over. That’s a pretty certain bet.

Arthur Murray directs ChooseEnergy.com’s newsroom, taking advantage of nearly 30 years of newspaper and magazine experience. His articles have appeared on Zillow.com, Business.com, Nasdaq.com, and USNews.com, among others.

Image/Shutterstock